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Left-Sangh street fights reach Delhi

Red brigade blames BJP leaders, including mayor. Saffron combine holds Marxists responsible, report Srinand Jha and Anil Anand.
Hindustan Times | By Srinand Jha and Anil Anand, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 10, 2008 01:11 AM IST

The Kerala bloodbath involving cadres of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party combine threatened to spread to the national capital on Sunday. Activists of the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha pelted stones at the CPM headquarters while a meeting of the party’s central committee was on.

Broken window panes and smashed windscreens of cars parked outside bore witness to the violent incidents that accounted for injuries to four central committee members and two office bearers, one of whom was hospitalised.

The RSS, Hindu Mahasabha and BJP activists were protesting the violence “unleashed by CPM cadres” on their workers in Kerala in the past few days. Of late, Kannur district of Kerala has witnessed many clashes between the CPM cadres and the saffron brigade. Seven people have been killed in the clashes since Wednesday. On Saturday, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha had staged a demonstration outside the CPM headquarters.

The CPM said it was a planned attack and demanded immediate arrest of those responsible. Party general secretary Prakash Karat appealed to all political parties to denounce the event. “Irrespective of political differences, one cannot resort to violence of such sort,” he said.

Party leaders alleged that BJP leaders, including Jagdish Mukhi, Mange Ram Garg and Pawan Sharma led the attack. The involvement of city mayor Aarti Mehra was also alleged.

The BJP says that stones were pelted from inside the CPM office and that 15 saffron activists demonstrating outside were injured. “We condemn the murder culture of the CPM. They have done it in Nandigram and have been doing it for several years in Kerala,” party deputy leader in the Lok Sabha VK Malhotra said. He said the party would raise the Kannur issue in Parliament on Monday.

Alleging that the RSS was trying to spread the culture of terror in the national capital, as they were doing in Kerala, CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said that this was “RSS culture”. “They are the people who had stooped to the level of assassinating the Mahatma. What else can you expect from them.”

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